WHP FEATURE 020
HOT SINCE 82
HOT SINCE 82
Hot Since 82’s story is a great one. In his own words he’s ‘an average Joe who made it as a DJ’, but what’s probably more interesting - and a generally under-reported part of the story - is that this is basically his second coming. Ten years ago he was DJing in cities in the north and occasionally in Ibiza as well as releasing the odd track using his real name, Daley Padley, but it looked like he would make it no further than the periphery. Slightly disillusioned, he actually took a break from music before roaring back with a new-found energy and his new identity, Hot Since 82.
Releases on Moda Black, Noir and Get Physical saw him really break through in 2012, but even then, few could have predicted the scale of his success in the years since. He’s basically got as close to world domination as any credible DJ can these days, and his popularity shows absolutely no sign of letting up.
Despite all of the adulation, he still talks about music more like a fan than an artist. When he says that doing a Knee Deep In Sound night for WHP at the Albert Hall (catch him on November 11th) is a ‘real milestone’ for him, you believe him. He’s certainly done his time on the other side of the DJ booth, and he hasn’t forgotten it. And this is where we start…
I do enjoy DJng - it’s not about the money. This job you’re hot one minute and you’re not the next, so I just want to play as much as I can as long as I‘m still enjoying it; and I do still enjoy it.
“Back when I was a full-time raver, Manchester was a city I’d come to a lot. It always had a nice vibe. I used to go to Warehouse Project and Sankeys a lot. One of the Warehouse Projects that sticks in the head is a M-Nus party with Richie and Magda… one with Dubfire as well but that was 9 - 10 years ago. I’ve always had a lot of friends in Manchester so WHP was always a place where we could catch up and do a bit of raving. I’ve always been a fan.
Manchester is one of the UK’s best cities… I’m sure you’d think it’s the best but Leeds has got to be the best hasn’t it?!? To say I’m doing a night in the Albert Hall is a real milestone for me. Obviously I’ve got good company as well with Steve and Cristoph so I’m confident we’ll have a night to remember.”
Since Daley made it big, the sheer volume of gigs that he manages to pack in is absolutely astonishing. Rather like a non-league footballer who suddenly gets a shot at the big time, his work-rate and hunger really stands out from those who it may have come more easily to. Nothing is taken for granted.
“I don’t really look at other people’s DJ schedules but I’ve had people who I’ve always thought were busy DJs say to me ‘how do you do it?’… they seem to think I‘m DJing a hell of a lot more than them which is scary really. I do do a lot of shows - I do enjoy DJng - it’s not about the money. This job you’re hot one minute and you’re not the next, so I just want to play as much as I can as long as I‘m still enjoying it; and I do still enjoy it.
where I am now I can go to Asda in my jogging bottoms for a pint of milk. It’s full of old people!”
Staying healthy, going to the gym, get my vitamins down me and I just crack on. I don’t party as much as I used to. The last 18 months I’ve simmered down so much - you can’t do this job and cane it is as much as you like because in a year’s time, you’ve gone - you just can’t do it - it’s balance man. I’m chilling out loads and still doing as many shows… I’m quite happy.
The main thing is I’ve got a missus, we’re engaged - I‘ve got a life when I get back home. Everything stops when you go back home. To be honest I was just going home and sleeping all the time and not putting any attention into family, so that’s more important than anything. If I’m going to do this job I’ve got to be respectful to my family back home. As I said - life’s good now, I’m under control.
I live in Wakefield now - well a village just outside of it. It’s got fields around me… good for the dog. And nobody knows me there as well. Honestly, it got to a point where I’d go to KFC or I’d go to Curry’s and I’d get stopped… still after all these years it’s kinda crazy, but I guess it’s endearing as well. But where I am now I can go to Asda in my jogging bottoms for a pint of milk. It’s full of old people!”
And what about the music? A gruelling touring schedule plus family time must make it difficult to get in the studio. Or is he one of those artists who can just sit on a plane and get inspired?
“I haven’t made much in the last year actually, but in the last couple of weeks |’ve been absolutely hammering it. I’ve got an arsenal of stuff that needs finishing, so I’ll get in the studio and just finish it, probably in January and February. I always take January and February off - that’s a great opportunity to get stuff mixed down and mastered. And that sets you up for the rest of the year.
I perforated my ear drum last year… from March last year to December I had such a nightmare for my ears where I couldn’t get anything done. I only cancelled one show… I just carried on and on and on, and luckily by December it healed. I saw a specialist in LA and in Leeds throughout the year. It’s really difficult now to write music on a plane. You’ve got to keep the headphones really low.
I’ve got the label as well… I A&R the whole lot on my own which takes up so much time. All the demos are redirected to my personal inbox as well… I think I get 200-400 emails every day! It’s a serious job! I have no one helping me do it. I love it though!”
When Daley is not utterly consumed in the scene, he’s actually a bit of a geek at heart. He has a massive collection of Star Wars figures (he will proudly tell you about his ultra-rare Snaggletooth figure if you ask him nicely), and an almost-as-big collection of vintage games consoles. And, it would appear, he likes a bit of jenga.
“In researching this interview,” I say, “I spoke to Jamie Roy and he said ‘ask him about the jenga.’ So, the jenga……”
“Jamie is the after-party king in Ibiza! When I go out with him, he knows everybody… it’s absurd!! He’s just always there whenever I’m in Ibiza. It’s about mid-day, we’re still up, back at some apartment, and there was a life-sized wooden jenga. I swear you not… how that was still standing - you should have seen the shapes of it - it was unreal.
For WHP, he won’t need to use another man’s apartment (or another man’s jenga) - it’ll be just up the road. A good opportunity to catch up with some of his northern crew.
“Yeah I’ll be coming from home. When I play local, everyone comes out - all these old friends. People from the woodwork who might not have been clubbing in years come out, so it’s a lovely and endearing thing that you can get a chance to catch up with your friends because to be honest I don’t get to see them very much. You stay in touch on WhatsApp but it’s just not the same. It’s a nice thing to have your pals by your side for a show so I always look forward to these, so that’s why Albert Hall will be really special. We all know each other from working in Ibiza in the day, so it’s a massive gathering for us all. I’m excited.”
It’s always interesting to know how a brand like Knee Deep In Sound can make WHP their own. With a full season’s worth of monster line ups to compete with, it must be quite a challenge for someone in Daley’s position.
“The DJs are hand picked - it’s not like we’re getting any old DJ who’s big at the time who’s a one-hit wonder just to put bums on seats so to speak… we never feel the need to do it strategically like as to say ‘this guy’s big at the minute - he’s got a number one in Beatport etc.’. It never works like that - they’re always handpicked and we get on with them really well. So there’s always a strong friendship there and I think that always works in the DJ booth as well - you can see it - you know we’re all friends. If I’m on the dance floor I can see DJs playing together and you can genuinely see there’s a friendship there. I always enjoy that side of things. I mean, come on - it’s always nice when you work with nice people isn’t it?
Obviously we have our own branding, we put our own cargo netting up, our own special visuals, big smokescreens, things like that. And the music always flows - there’s nothing worse than going to a show and the warmup DJ is banging it out a bit too soon and the second headliner comes on and it’s just steady. It has to start at 30% and by the end of the night it’s 110%, so everything’s got to work its way up. And I think that’s always key to an amazing night - doesn’t matter who’s DJing as long as the music’s good. We programme the line ups this way - it needs to build and build and finish off on a high.
That’s about it really. Good music, good policy and no bullshit. We don’t take ourselves seriously - it’s not like people have to dress super-smart or there’s a specific formula. We’re just normal DJs putting on a good party and I think people can relate to that. I hope that people come to my party and relax and be themselves and just enjoy… that’s what it’s all about isn’t it?”
And you can’t argue with that.